Greener shopping for businesses: Circular Ink and Toner from Doorstep Ink
Publisher’s Note: Greener Shopping recognizes companies that make real improvements in the environmental impact of products and services. Reader Bradford S. recently asked for a recommendation for a printer ink and toner cartridge source that offers a full lifecycle approach to ink purchasing and recycling. It’s a problem we’re trying to solve at Earth911 as well. We found a company with a workable solution. It qualifies as a Greener Shopping Difference Maker, our service that helps you reduce your business’ greenhouse gas, water and fossil fuel impacts by up to 50%.
The benefits of using a recycled inkjet or toner cartridge can be significant, but there are few easy-to-use circular ink purchasing services for businesses. In most cases, the cartridges are sent to a company for recycling and given to other companies for resale to the company. We found a company that sells the cartridges, accepts them, recycles them and then resells them to the business customer. Here are the facts you need.
Inkjet and toner cartridges can be recycled (see our guide), but only approximately 20% of it is processed yearly. If you are looking for a way to make your business more accountable and accountable for your environmental goals, the challenge is to find a reliable cartridge recycler that does not send the products abroad for remanufacturing and who also documents that all unusable components are responsibly sourced are recycled instead of going to landfill. These programs do not provide certifications required to support environmental performance assessments; However, it is possible to use invoices to show that your company responsibly purchases remanufactured printer supplies.
Remanufactured inkjet and toner cartridges generally have a one-third lower environmental impact than new ones. Remanufactured HP ink cartridges weigh only 1.79 lbs. (0.81 kg) CO2 equivalent emissions compared to 2.66 lbs. (1.21 kg.) for a newly manufactured cartridge, according to the Center for Remanufacturing and Reuse, a European research company. ONE Study 2016 determined by the Asian Institute of Technology that a new toner cartridge produces approximately 83 lbs. (37.68 kg.) CO2 equivalent emissions compared to a remanufactured cartridge emitting approximately 54.4 lbs. (24.70 kg.) Greenhouse gases. Water and fossil fuel consumption – 75% less water and 54% less oil – is also significantly reduced with remanufactured cartridges.
Business customers do not find a one-size-fits-all solution for recycling used cartridges and buy recycled cartridges from the big printer companies. You have to send cartridges to one company for recycling and buy them from another. Hewlett-Packard and canon have launched ambitious circular ink projects that offer for free Recycled Shipping. However, only Canon refurbished cartridges are available in the US – and only through third party suppliers. They lack the convenience of shopping and recycling from one company.
On-site remanufacturing is essential to make recycling programs sustainable. HP’s circular recycling program, which operates only in Europe, recycles cartridges in France and resells them through other companies in Europe.
Printer cartridge technology also needs more innovation. The typical cartridge or component can be recycled 1.1 times, the Center for Remanufacturing and Reuse reported. Redesigning and reducing the complexity of printer technology will make it more recyclable and reduce the overall impact of printing.
Doorstep Ink’s circular solution
We only found one company that offers full lifecycle support for printer cartridges, Planet Green doorstep ink. The company sells and collects used cartridges with free shipping and offers business customers discounts based on the value of the returned cartridges. For example, customers can send in four used cartridges to receive a 20% discount on a future order, making this program viable for companies looking to use circularly manufactured ink. Planet Green also processes remanufactured cartridges in the US at a facility in Chatsworth, California. The products are not sent to other continents where they can be recycled or sent to a landfill.
While the CO2-equivalent emissions of a recycled inkjet or toner cartridge are about 33% lower than brand new items, the reduced water use and reliance on virgin fossil-fuel plastic – plus Doorstep Ink’s in-house recycling infrastructure reducing shipping emissions – environmental impact is reduced by up to 50%. To reduce the impact of your printer ink by 50%, we recommend consolidating empty cartridges into as few shipments as possible.
The most effective actions you can take are reducing business pressures in general, choosing to only put information on paper when absolutely necessary, and only using recycled paper when printing is necessary. The longer life of your ink is one benefit, the other is the reduction in waste. recycled paper, which is controversialresulting in a saving of 7,000 gallons of water and approximately 4.23 tons of CO2 emissions per ton.